By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
It typically means “worse” or “heightened.”
The term ‘aggravated’ is applied to many different criminal charges and there is no uniform definition as to what allegation renders a charge ‘aggravated’ in any specific case. One constant is an ‘aggravated’ allegation normally kicks the punishment range up a notch or more. It can also affect parole eligibility if someone is sent to prison.
Here are the most common “Aggravated” offenses in Texas:
Aggravated Assault – Assault where someone either uses or exhibits a deadly weapon. It can also mean assault which results in serious bodily injury. See Texas Penal Code 22.02.
Aggravated Sexual Assault – Sexual assault is generally where a person conducts one of a number of prohibited sexual acts to another (Tex.Pen.C. 22.011). Aggravated sexual assault can be committed where defendant inflicts serious bodily injury on the victim, assaults a person younger than 14, or a disabled or handicapped person. Tex.Pen.C. 22.021).
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child – sexual assault committed against a child younger than 14 years old. Sexual assault of a child is committed where a child is between the ages of 14 and younger than 17.
Aggravated Perjury – perjury is making a false statement under oath. It could be in an affidavit or an official document of some sort. Aggravated perjury is a false statement during a court case which is considered material in nature to the proceedings. Perjury is typically a Class a misdemeanor. Aggravated perjury is elevated to a third degree felony.
Aggravated Robbery – Robbery is typically defined as theft plus assault regardless of how minor either is. Aggravated Robbery is where a person uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the commission of the robbery, causes serious bodily injury, or places in fear of imminent bodily injury of a person over 65 years of age or a disabled person. Robbery is a 2nd Degree felony and aggravated robbery is a 1st degree felony.
Aggravated Kidnapping – Kidnapping is abducting a person. Aggravated kidnapping is where someone is abducted with the intent to be held for ransom, intent to be used as a human shield, intent to sexually violate, or with intent to terrorize.
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution – This offense is for those who invest in, finance or promote prostitution of two or more persons. See Tex.Pen.C. 43.04.
Aggravated Promotion of Online Prostitution – Promotion of prostitution done in a fashion which is online. Tex.Pen.C. 43.041.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is licensed to practice in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice.